Why building a CoolTown retail center isn’t easy… yet

…and that’s defined as a retail-entertainment destination town center of innovative, local, independent businesses targeting a progressive, creative audience on a budget.

Until now, there really wasn’t a means of developing such a place as new – any new retail center consists of national and regional chains (like CityPlace, West Palm Beach, pictured.) Even if the focus was on independent businesses (as they are in ski resorts), it would still be highly upscale.

But why? Let’s turn to Kennedy Smith, one of the top retail consultants in the country who ran the National Main Street Center for 20 years…

“The key difference is that retail consultants/brokers push the businesses to net an enormous amount – like $400+/s.f. – and are in turn paid for their services by the developer (who’s earning a percentage of retail sales and can thus afford, because of the higher nets, to pay the fairly high amount it costs to provide that sort of intensive assistance). This works okay in very upscale communities (like ski resorts) that can sustain that level of sales and high price points, but it doesn’t work well in mixed-income communities with ‘real’; (e.g., not just economically elite) people.”

Tomorrow, Kennedy’s solution.

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